Michigan is feeling great coming off a big rivalry win and is now hoping to upend Ohio State in the season finale. However, a trip to Indiana is up next and is far from a freebie. The Wolverines still opened as -8.5 point road favorites.
Michigan is playing its best football of the season, but it can’t look ahead just yet. Indiana is having one of its better seasons in some time and just gave Penn State everything it could handle in a 34-27 loss last weekend.
In their final home game, the Hoosiers will undoubtedly want to deal a blow to a team who may only care about beating Ohio State next week.
An upset is possible as Indiana has one of the better offenses in the conference, hitting 30 points in all but the losses to Ohio State and Penn State.
The OSU loss was predictable, but last week, the Hoosiers were competitive and quarterback Peyton Ramsey averaged 9.0 yards per attempt.
Michigan’s defense has been good, allowing 16.4 points per game, but this may be the best offense it’s seen since Wisconsin and maybe best passing offense it has seen all season. Sure, the Wolverines destroyed Notre Dame, but that game was over from the start.
Despite averaging 3.8 yards per carry as a team, the Hoosiers are still moving the ball against everyone. Stevie Scott will get carries whether it’s working or not and 4.8 yards per carry is still a solid rate.
The question is what Ramsey can do against Michigan’s DBs, who are some of the best in the country. He’s completing 72.7% of his passes to a balanced receiving corps, but he doesn’t have the same athleticism as the injured Michael Penix, which could be an issue in this game.
While Indiana’s defensive numbers are decent, allowing 21.4 points per game, a lot of that is because of how bad the bad teams are in the Big Ten.
Even then, they gave up 40 points to Michigan State. On the positive, they battled last weekend and gave up 4.3 yards per carry which was solid given that the Nittany Lions had two rushes for 73 yards.
Michigan will probably take that run-first approach, as well, even though quarterback Shea Patterson is coming off one of his better games as a Wolverine. His overall numbers are still mediocre, averaging 8.0 yards per pass, and playing on the road is another animal.
The Wolverines will likely continue their RPO offense with running backs Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins getting most of the work. That started working in the second half against Penn State and the offense hasn’t been slowed down since.
If Michigan put everything into this game, a cover would be well within reach. However, between Michigan State and Ohio State on the schedule, and in Indiana’s final home game, there are reasons to take the Hoosiers as a home underdog.
Michigan has covered its last four overall and the over is 5-1 in its last six road games. Indiana is 6-1 ATS in its last seven against a team with a winning record (loss was Ohio State).
The Hoosiers are 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings between these schools, though the three covers were with spreads of at least 12 points.
Our Pick – Indiana +9